Bobbi Lurie

Strange Light

I sensed he felt relief in his sickness.

Clearly he was content that the end was near.

And if he was not in fact content with ideas of death, there was certainly a sense of relief that he could present objective proof of his misery to me. “See?” he said, “do you finally see what I mean when I say my life is sad?” And he seemed content to gain attention like that.

And I felt bad not only for his sickness but also for the fact that he found happiness through the extremity of failed medicine. I wondered about the emergency surgery, his chest slit open, his ribs pulled back, sawed in half perhaps. I could not bring myself to ask.

“I could have been an angel by now,” he said sweetly to me when I arrived at his bedside, kissing his cheek. And what struck me was that the ends of his sentences did not dip down into sadness but ended with a lilt of enthusiasm.

Perhaps what happened was some sense of pure clarity gripped him for nothing is less nebulous than death. Nothing could bless him better than his sickness, I decided. It seemed impossible to deny that all the incongruous monsters he fought all his life had been vanquished with his past.

The room filled with a strange light.

I sat there with him all night, watched him, breathing serene, machines beeping, drips dripping fluids into his arm, feeling he was happy and that I was happy too, in the stark, strange room.

Bobbi Lurie has worked as a visual artist, writer and therapist. She is the author of four poetry collections, most recently "the morphine poems" (Otoliths). It is clear to her now that the things she never wrote are the things she meant to say. http://the-otolith.blogspot.com/2015/09/bobbi-lurie.html
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